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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Brownstone Bar in Shanghai, China by Kokaistudios

June 21st, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Kokaistudios

The ‘Brownstone’ is a cocktail lounge located in the Surpass Court of Yonjia Lu 570, emerging epicenter of Shanghai night life. It was developed as a prototype for a venue of new concept in co-operation with ‘Blue Horizon Hospitality Group’ (Blue Frog).

Counter View (Image Courtesy Charlie Xia)

  • Architects: Kokaistudios
  • Project: Brownstone Bar
  • Location: Shanghai, China
  • Floor area: 130 sqm
  • Design period: June-August 2010

Bar View (Image Courtesy Charlie Xia)

  • Completion project: December 2010
  • Designed by: Kokaistudios
  • Interior Design Team: Andrea Destefanis, Pietro Peyron, Carmen Lee
  • Client: Blue Horizon Hospitality Group
  • Photographer: Charlie Xia

Bar Detail (Image Courtesy Charlie Xia)

The project combines a simple and efficient layout, partly suggested by the limited dimensions of the venue, with the complex and redundant interplay of textures and custom-made elements concurring to define the sophisticated atmosphere and the strong identity of the place, a one-of-a-kind experience lousily inspired, in the intentions of the client, to the decadent turn-of-the-Century French ‘Salons’.

Corner View (Image Courtesy Charlie Xia)

The bar is divided in a central part, developed around the bar counter and a fully equipped DJ booth, furnished with wooden finished built-in counters and high seats, and two lounge areas around it, raised platforms finished in dark wood and furnished with low armchairs and sofas. Raw natural materials, wood or stone floor finishes and red bricks walls are combined with precious custom-made surfaces used as highlights: modular metallic open ceiling, translucent metal and acrylic back-lit lattice panels screening the windows at the background and the bar shelves. The ‘peacock feather’ is a recurrent theme in both the design of the screens’ pattern and the loose furniture color palette.

Counter Detail (Image Courtesy Charlie Xia)


Kokaistudios is an award winning multi-disciplinary design firm founded in 2000 in Venice by Italian architects Filippo Gabbiani & Andrea Destefanis. Founded with the dream to create a collaborative office of young and talented architects devoted to researching and formulating the design solutions to the demands of tomorrow and capable of working on a worldwide basis; the firm has grown after 10 years into a team of 25 people headquartered in Shanghai, P.R.C.

Entrance View (Image Courtesy Charlie Xia)

Kokaistudios has completed over 120 projects in the last 7 years in all fields of design, and we have received numerous awards including the “Top 40 under 40 award” from Perspective magazine and 2 UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage awards for our the Bund 18 and Huai Hai Lu 796 projects.  Our focus remains firmly on working throughout Asia on challenging; interesting; and innovative projects, and to offering our clients creative solutions and the highest levels of service.

Floor Detail (Image Courtesy Charlie Xia)

Andrea Destefanis

Kokaistudios – Founder and Chief Architect

Born in Turin, Italy from a family of Theater artists, Andrea Destefanis developed very early a strong interest for visual arts and scenography.  Growing up in a refined cultural environment he moved to live in Venice where completing his education at University of Architecture of Venice he started to cooperate with several architectural firms and developed award winning projects in architecture and city planning. Moved by his personal interest in different fields of design he founded a cooperative studio focused on research of innovative instrument of design in computer graphics. In 2000 he met with Filippo Gabbiani with whom he shares the same architectural vision and interest in heritage renovation and environmental design, and they started a deep cooperation with resulted in the founding of Kokaistudios. Since the establishment of Kokaistudios in 2002 in Shanghai, Andrea has resided full time in Shanghai where he jointly oversees Kokaistudios and focuses also on researching and promoting sustainable instruments of development for social and urban environment.

Lounge View (Image Courtesy Charlie Xia)


Graduated in Architecture at Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia, Venice – Italy

Furniture Detail (Image Courtesy Charlie Xia)

Filippo Gabbiani (Arkitekter MAA)

Kokaistudios – Founder and Chief Architect

Born in Venice, Italy, from a famous family of artists and glass makers, Filippo Gabbiani developed very early a multidisciplinary interest for art and design. Starting to cooperate with his family in designing and producing artistic glass he completed his studies at University of Architecture of Venice where he graduated with an innovative research sponsored by European Community on usage of alternative energies in architecture. Following his instinctive curiosity for different disciplinary and other cultures he worked in several countries in Europe and in U.S.A. cooperating with prestigious firms of architecture, interior and industrial design before meeting Andrea Destefanis with who founded Kokaistudios in 2000. From the establishment of the firm in Shanghai he move permanently to live in Asia where together with the mission of Kokaistudios he continue its personal research in artistic glass design and the cultural promotion of sustainable architecture and protection and preservation of heritage of Asia.

Screen Detail (Image Courtesy Charlie Xia)

Vip Detail (Image Courtesy Charlie Xia)

Vip View (Image Courtesy Charlie Xia)

Elevation 1

Elevation 3

First Floor Plan

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Category: Bar

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